Wednesday, September 07, 2005

STOP THE PRESSES: Red Cross Was Ready to Roll with Aid Immediately After the Flood, Told to Stay Out of New Orleans by Louisiana State Officials!

So it was all George W. Bush's and FEMA's fault.

Uh-huh. Right...

From John Hawkins at Right Wing News:

The Louisiana Department of Homeland Security To The Red Cross: You Can't Give Food To The People Stuck In The Superdome

Major Garrett: Well, the Red Cross, Hugh, had pre-positioned a literal vanguard of trucks with water, food, blankets and hygiene items. They're not really big into medical response items, but those are the three biggies that we saw people at the New Orleans Superdom, [sic] and the convention center, needing most accutely. And all of us in America, I think, reasonably asked ourselves, geez. You know, I watch hurricanes all the time. And I see correspondents standing among rubble and refugees and evacuaees. But I always either see that Red Cross or Salvation Army truck nearby. Why don't I see that?

Hugh Hewitt: And the answer is?

Major Garrett: The answer is the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security, that is the state agency responsible for that state's homeland security, told the Red Cross explicitly, you cannot come.

Hugh Hewitt: Now Major Garrett, on what day did they block the delivery? Do you know specifically?

Major Garrett: I am told by the Red Cross, immediately after the storm passed.

Hugh Hewitt: Okay, so that would be on Monday afternoon.

Major Garrett: That would have been Monday or Tuesday. The exact time, the hour, I don't have. But clearly, they had an evacuee situation at the Superdome, and of course, people gravitated to the convention center on an ad hoc basis. They sort of invented that as another place to go, because they couldn't stand the conditions at the Superdome.

Hugh Hewitt: Any doubt in the Red Cross' mind that they were ready to go, but they were blocked?

Major Garrett: No. Absolutely none. They are absolutely unequivocal on that point.

(Emphasis mine.)

Oh, and all you hate-spewing "Bush is to blame" idiots on the left... Do you still want that investigation? I'm game!



Confirmation of the above story as shown at the American Red Cross' website:

Hurricane Katrina: Why is the Red Cross not in New Orleans?

• Acess [sic] to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders.

• The state Homeland Security Department had requested--and continues to request--that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.

The Political Teen has video of Major Garrett's explosive report from Brit Hume's show on Fox News.

Radio Blogger has the complete transcript of the Hewitt/Garrett interview quoted above.

Hugh Hewitt has more at his own blog.

The Anchoress has provided more evidence:

Hmmm...before anyone says this is all Republican Hooey, they should probably know this:

A Red Cross official, Carol Miller, said on NPR's Diane Rehm show this morning that the Red Cross was told not to provide aid at the Superdome by the Louisiana, not U.S., Department of Homeland Security.

Audio here (click link on left side of page) the comment is about 35:40 into the show.

Lorie Byrd at PoliPundit couldn't seem to find any coverage on CNN. The discussion thread is lively (as usual), and includes a comment by ordi, whom the Anchoress credits for the NPR tip.

Captain Ed at Captain's Quarters has more, including this nugget:

It's also worth noting that the Red Cross gets more access to the detainees at Guantanamo Bay than the people still stuck inside New Orleans.

Once again, we have more evidence that the problems in getting relief to Louisianans stuck inside the New Orleans basin directly relate to decisions made at the state and local level, not federal -- and that the people in charge of the overall effort have been and continue to be Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco. The meme blaming Bush for Hurricane Katrina continues to fall apart, even without wide coverage of the facts by the Exempt Media.

Voice of Reason at Politicalities applauds the efforts of the rescue workers (including numerous pictures) and says this:

The Democrats were so eager to politicize this bloody tragedy that they couldn't wait to start pointing fingers until the bodies were all dead, much less cold. So fine, let's point the finger. Let's point it squarely where it belongs. Let's point it to the leader of the police force that suffered from mass desertion, some of whose members turned to looting, and which is now enjoying taxpayer-paid Vegas vacations while their city lies in rubble and their citizens huddle miserably in makeshift shelters in other states. Let's point it to the mayor who failed to follow his own evacuation plan, who let hundreds of potentially life-saving buses become pretty islands in satellite pictures, to whom "mandatory evacuation" apparently means "pretty please" and not "leave now or be arrested."

And most especially, let's point it at Governor Blanco, who is continuing to harm New Orleans even as we speak. By the way, what a delightfully appropriate name she has! It means "white", which she is, but it also shares the Middle French blanc as an ancestor with the English word blank. Blank is her mind when it should be on the suffering of those she is sworn to protect. Blank is her face at her press conferences where she boldly exerts her authority to do... nothing. Blank are the pages of the disaster plan she and Mayor Nagin follow, although not of the disaster plan they were supposed to follow....

Betsy Newmark at Betsy's Page tells us that Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit had this story a couple of days ago, but it apparently got lost in the "flood" of news (so to speak).


Gateway Pundit, who wants to know what will become of all those "The Blood of New Orleans is on Republican Hands!" bumper stickers some on the far left have been displaying.

Curt at Flopping Aces, who has more links.

Bill at PunditGuy


Thanks for the link!

John Ruberry at Marathon Pundit

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